Optimising The Load Test Engine

There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes at SciVisum with our R&D team tuning up the Load Testing Engine in preparation for the big Christmas Rush.

Although the sun may be (finally) shining many  IT and eCommerce Managers are testing their technology in preparation for the seasonal onslaught of visitor peaks.

August and September are our busy months for pre-Christmas load testing projects so we’ve been working like Christmas elves to ensure that optimisations and fixes to our load test engine are in place. Recent improvments include increasing the speed of computations taking place at the final stages of a test and extra safety checks to further ensure no step results are missed and pages/min figures are correctly calculated.

We have also improved our comprehensive testing framework for the load engine. This includes new staging cloud load injectors and portal, and innovative new ways of checking the consistency of run data stored in the portal and in the injectors.

Quickly resolve problems with expert advice

Our engineers deliver more than a set of numbers, they spend time understanding your needs and requirements beforehand and provide bespoke insights into root
causes, adjusting the test plan as needed during testing, and ensure that your tech team will have actionable results. This helps resolve problems quickly and often provides large performance gains for minimal investment, as minor improvements to web application architecture or coding often deliver more substantial gains than expensive hardware upgrades.

Reality Based Metrics

The flexibility and multi functionality of sites can make load testing more challenging for organisations determined to ensure that all different types of users and usage patterns have been understood and optimised.

Session lengths, the weight of pages and the speed of processes involved and load for these various kinds of journeys and the systems they run on will most likely differ greatly. In addition to that the proportion of the journey types will likely change at different times of the day or periods of the year.

For an effective load test it is important to cover not only a mixture of different journeys, but to weight the number of each type of journey within the test by the proportional breakdown of those journeys in different time periods, reflecting the ways the site must be able to handle different kinds of traffic peaks.

Keeping It Real

If you already know that your websites don’t just have one kind of user, always taking the same path through the same site, in the same numbers, taking the same amount of time, then what can load testing that way tell you?

SciVisum’s approach to testing is to reflect as close to a real-life scenario as possible. This is done through building a realistic set of user journeys, often with complex bespoke weighting calculations, that are based on the latest site usage information.

The results possible with such a representative approach are much more precise than those achievable with traditional load testing.